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Case study: The Big Energy Upgrade

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The BIG Energy Upgrade Programme is the first large scale project that is delivering installation of energy efficiency measures and renewables to houses in Yorkshire and the Humber by adopting a whole house/ whole community approach.

The results of this programme have particular relevance to the forthcoming Green Deal as the project includes:

  • 114 jobs created and 99 jobs safeguarded; 145,113 tCO2 saved
  • extensive use of external solid wall insulation (relevant for the delivery of ECO initiative)
  • stimulate the energy efficient supply chain
  • behavioural studies (from individual to whole community)
  • area based delivery of retrofit measures

Led by Kirklees Council, the partnership includes 

  • 6 Local Authorities
  • 4 Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs)
  • 2 Social Housing Providers,
  • Yorkshire Energy Services
  • The University of Sheffield.

The project will deliver a very ambitious programme of installation of energy efficiency measures and micro generation technologies in households by adopting a fully integrated, whole-house/ whole community approach.

Through individual household assessments carried out by
Yorkshire Energy Services (YES), the project will identify a highly individual package of measures for each of the households and will provide optimal insulation and energy control to the house. The project will also work with communities to embed behaviour change around energy consumption.

The measures involved in the project include:
- cavity wall insulation- connection to a district heating scheme
- district heating meter for individual house billing
- draught proofing
- external solid wall insulation
- flat roof insulation
- fuel switching
- glazing
- heating controls for a new heating system
- heat pump
- internal solid wall insulation
- loft insulation / top up
- microgeneration measures
- replacement A rated boiler
- under-floor insulation
- upgrade of a district heating system

Ten disadvantaged communities across Yorkshire and the Humber have been identified to take part in the scheme, these are as follows:
Golcar (Kirklees)
Chickenley (Kirklees)
Eightlands, Dewsbury (Kirklees)
Athersley (Barnsley)
Wheatley (2 areas of Wheatley) (Doncaster)
Lower Wortley (Leeds)
Frodingham (North Lincs)
East Marsh & Guildford (North East Lincs)

A multidisciplinary team of academics from the University of Sheffield is working alongside 14 partners involved in delivering the project through an integrated approach which will for the first time understand the interrelated areas of human-behaviour, energy-efficiency technology, and supply-chain capabilities. Primary data is being gathered on the performance of the measures installed, the behaviour of those living in the houses and the development of the regional supply chains. The holistic understanding of these enables design of more effective policies and interventions. 

This programme has particular relevance to the forthcoming Green Deal thanks to the early adoption of the whole-house/whole community approach integrated by work carried out by the Consortium Partners, Yorkshire Energy Services and the University of Sheffield.

The evidence derived from the monitoring and the area-based delivery of retrofit installations will support the activities of the newly established Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO).

The programme also aims to address fuel poverty in the most deprived communities in the region.

Author(s) information


UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)

Lessons learnt

None commented thus far.

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Funding description

£14.9m is being invested of which £7m is from the European Union, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe´s support for the region´s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber 2007-2013 ERDF Programme.